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Final Cut Pro editing for ME

edited April 2015 in MixEmergency
I'm pretty new to video djing and joined a legitimate video pool as advised a few months ago. They are more than enough for my Hip-Hop/R&B/Urban files.

However i also play Afrobeats/african/regional tracks and i'm learning how to do straight audio swaps on videos with "better" quality ones i purchased from itunes or promo packs.
I have few questions about FCP and Handbrake

This is my current workflow for doing straight audio swaps

1. import video into FCP 10.1.4
2. Import the aac or mp3 of the same track into FCP
3. Highlight the video and mp3/aac in FCP and "synchronize clips"
4. Open Synchronized track in a new "Timeline"
5. Skim through to see if it syncs properly
6. Then i disable the audio of the video track (or detach audio & delete)
7. Share (or Export)

At this step i'm confused as to what format to share as. I tried using the 720p/1080p Apple devices and the audio was compressed to 128kbps

Question 1: What is the recommended settings for exporting in FCP as i dont have "Compressor".

Currently i'm exporting as
Codec: Apple Pro Res 422, 25fps, 1920 x 1080, Stereo (L R) 44.1 Khz

It saves as very Large .mov file (up to 4gig for a music video) and i then convert using Handbrake with the Serato Video 2.2 Preset

Question 2: Am i degrading the file (video & audio) in anyways by this method?

I noticed an option to export as H.264 in FCP. I tried this and ended up with smaller .mov files than the Apple Pro Res 422. But i feel the video looks different in quality, maybe its my eyes

Question 3: Can i "share" using H.264 instead of Apple Pro Res 422?

Question 4: Do i need to check the transcoding option when importing files into FCP? I have checked "Create Optimized Media"

Many thanks


  • I'll leave this to a FCP expert. In terms of Question 2 though: yes, you're probably losing some video quality (though, not much), as Apple Pro Res and H.264 are both lossy video formats.
  • Hi Nicks. Thanks for chiming in. I just upgraded to 3.0 by the way.

    You suggested i joined a pool months ago which i did :)

    What is a Lossless Video format? Apple Pro Res 422 saves as a gigantic file already and i cant believe thats still lossy.

    Some of the videos i want to re encode are HD videos from "streams" and personal clips. Like i said i'm not re-encoding anything that is readily available via the video pool i joined eg Urban, R & B, Hip Hop etc

    Its just my niche genre of Afrobeats/West African/Afropop which i happen to play quite a lot.

  • For me personally, I would probably just do what you are doing too: exporting to Pro Res and then exporting to H.264. I'm not sure exactly what settings the Serato Video Preset uses - maybe you need to bump up the bitrate?
  • Can someone chime in about the optimal settings for Handbrake when converting a ProRes video file to H.264? Should we just use the Video-SL 2.2 preset?
    (screenshot of the preset's settings -

    Thanks in advance.
  • I edit very similar ... I have modified the serato preset for handbrake like Nick had suggested for SD files I set the bitrate to 3500 and for HD I have it set to 5000 ... I do export pro res out of FCPX ... So far using this sytem I've had awesome results with extemely little to no video degradation
  • going with 3500/5000 now. Files are bigger than what obtains from "recordpools".
  • They are slightly bigger but not by much at least with SmashVison & Xtendamix videos I have noticed that with VJ Street the files do come out quite a bit larger but that's most likely due to the improper encoding to begin with
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